Exchange FAQs

What are the requirements to become a semester exchange student?

Students interested in spending a semester abroad should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA with 60 credit hours completed by the beginning of the term abroad.

If an applicant’s GPA is below the 3.0 requirement, the student will be asked to submit a letter explaining any circumstances faced that may have contributed to the current cumulative GPA. The student will also be asked to submit a letter of recommendation from the department chair of the corresponding major. If approved to attend a partner school, the student may apply for the Education Abroad Scholarship.

What fees can I expect to be charged at UCA during my semester abroad?

Students can expect to be charged UCA education abroad tuition, the UCA education abroad fee, and international insurance.

Direct Enroll placements will be charged the partner school’s tuition, the UCA education abroad fee, and international insurance.

Will the Study Abroad Fee be refunded?

No, the fee is non-refundable.

How does housing work while I am abroad?

Students work with the partner university to determine housing options. At times, there are multiple options such as apartments, dorms, or home-stays. The student pays the appropriate contact.

Will I need a student visa? If so, will I have to travel out of state to obtain the visa?

Depending on the country, students may have to apply for a student visa. Some students are required to travel to the Consulate’s Office assigned to the state of Arkansas which may require out of state travel. The Office of Education Abroad will assist with this process but this process is solely the student’s responsibility.

Do I receive grades or credits on my UCA transcript from the semester exchange?

Students will receive education abroad credits if grades from education abroad are passing and if post-approval signatures are obtained by the corresponding department(s) at UCA.

Students should keep in mind that the international transcript may be requested for graduate applications so every effort should be made to have an academically successful semester abroad. Upon return, the department(s) will review the transcript and assign credit as approved.

What services does UCA offer while a student is a semester exchange?

While abroad, students will need to check UCA email and monitor timelines for payments, registrations, and other activity in preparation for the current or next semester.

UCA’s Office of Education Abroad will work with semester exchanges to ensure communication is ongoing between the student abroad and our office. The Office of Education Abroad staff will do their best to ensure students have assistance to find resources abroad. While it’s the student’s responsibility to handle UCA business and the partner school requirements, the Office of Education Abroad will provide ongoing support as needed.
For example, if a student arrives to the partner university and the class schedule changes, our office will assist in gathering pre-approval signatures from the appropriate department. We are able to help with the education abroad credit process and questions related to housing abroad, visas, and other issues.


Can students get an exemption from UCA housing during semester exchange?

Students may request a letter from the Office of Education Abroad stating they are approved to education abroad. Along with housing form, they may turn in the letter and form to UCA Housing for exemption.

Can students work while they are abroad?

Students do not need to plan to work while abroad as that requires a work visa and students obtain a student visa. There may be volunteer opportunities so check with the partner school.

What aid can I use while I’m abroad?

Financial Aid Overview and Funding Options

What does insurance cover?

iNext international insurance includes Political and Natural Disaster Emergency coverage as well as Trip Delay – due to quarantine if a student becomes sick with Covid 19 while abroad. Additional information can be found at this link under Comprehensive Group Coverage: iNext Insurance/ or you may also contact iNext and read over this iNext International Travel Protection.

Semester exchange and renewing the Arkansas Challenge Academic Scholarship or other state scholarships
Students who education abroad will be on probation the semester after they return until the UCA transcript is updated with credits from semester exchange.
Once you log onto myUCA and see the transfer credits on your UCA transcript, you will need to complete the following tasks to ensure your scholarship will continue to be in good standing:
  • Contact the Registrar’s Office for an official transcript to be sent to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The Registrar’s Office has an online system, or you may go by their office to receive more assistance.
  • After a week or so, make sure that you either have a notification from ADHE that your scholarship is not on probation (due to no credits appearing during your semester abroad as the deadline is before exchanges have credit transferred) or call ADHE at 501-371-1064 to inquire on your status.
ADHE is aware that students education abroad but it is the student’s responsibility to follow up with an updated official transcript.